Pune Airport will soon go solar: Airport Authority of India


Lohegaon Airport in Pune would now be a solar-powered airport. Authority Authority of India- Pune recently approved a tender of 1.21 crores to institute a 300kWp (kilowatts peak) solar plant to provide for the electricity supply of the airport. A tweet from the official handle of Pune airport mentioned that the project which is expected to be completed by March 31 current year.

Ahmadabad based company Varchasva Industries would be installing the plant which is expected to be established in the hangar area of the airport, Hindustan Times reported. On an average the airport requires 600-700 kWp of power a day and with installation of a solar powered plant, the burden would be reduced to half.

Officials from the electronic department of the airport told Hindustan Times that, “While the solar power would be used at the primary source of electricity at the airport, regular electrical power supply will also be kept as an alternative. It will be used in the case of any unforeseen hindrance.”

After Cochin, Pune would be the second airport to adopt solar energy.

Cristiano Ronaldo crosses landmark UCL goal to propel Real Madrid against PSG

Title defenders Real Madrid made a huge statement on Wednesday night after a comeback win against Paris-Saint Germain in the first leg of the Champions League round-of-16. Madrid’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo netted a brace that included his landmark 100th Champions League goal for a single club.

The hosts, fresh from a 5-2 battering of Real Sociedad, unleashed their Champions League mode early in the game as they dominated possession and didn’t shy away from taking the shots. However, their attacking play caught their defence napping as Adrien Rabiot slotted home the all important away goal from close range. Kylian Mbappe’s cross wasn’t handled well as slick Neymar backheel in box meant Rabiot had a free shot from close range.

Cristiano converted from 12 yards to level the score just on the stroke of half-time. The penalty was Cristiano’s 100th Champions League goal in the Madrid shirt. That equaliser also made the Portuguese the first man to score in seven consecutive Champions League matches. He had scored in all the six Group Stage matches.

As for the visitors, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani missed glorious opportunities to put them in front, while Karim Benzema’s worst run of form continued. Both strikers, Cavani and Benzema were taken off early in the second half though. Although he didn’t score, Neymar was tormenting the Madrid defence with his blistering runs in the final third.

Leaving Gareth Bale on the bench and starting Isco was a big call taken by Zidane, but the introduction of Marco Asensio was a masterstroke. His entrance proved to be decisive and pave the way for a Real triumph. The 20-year-old made an instant impact on the wing, bagging two assists within just seven minutes of his introduction. Asensio assisted Cristiano Ronaldo for his second, with a low driving cross in the box and then set up Marcelo for Real’s third and seal the game.

Zidane was pleased with his team’s performance but was wary of the second leg in two weeks’ time. “This club has 12 Champions Leagues and there is a reason for that,” Zidane said. “We can be very happy with what we did against a very good team tonight.”

While Unai Emery lamented the referee’s decisions against PSG. “It was a repeat,” Emery said, when the 6-1 defeat at Barcelona last season was brought up. He was not talking about the result or the collapse but refereeing which he said “damaged” PSG, his focus drawn to the penalty Madrid were given.

Water purifiers to be installed in public places in Pune

18 water purifying units worth Rs. 50 lakhs, will be installed at various public places in the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) limits. Amol Jagtap, CEO of KCB, officially announced that the purifiers will treat waters drawn from borewells and work in this regard is currently in progress. Jagtap also assured that every ward in KCB will have a purifier with an hourly distributing capacity of 50 litres of water. Similar units will be set up in bus stops, schools, hospitals, market areas and in KCB office also, as reported by The Indian Express.

Among the 18 units to be installed, 2 had been developed by the CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, under the Gramin Vigyan Kutir programme, also referred to as the CSIR Techvill. The special units will be installed only at schools.

Senior scientist and in charge of CSIR Techvill said that the main objective of this initiative is to promote consumption of treated water. Interesting fact about these water purifiers is that they do not need much maintenance.

Previously, NCL did help several schools and hospitals with such units, under the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Both KCB and NCL are planning to install more such water purifiers in the years to come and help civilians to intake disease free pure water.

Shane Warne’s second innings with Rajasthan Royals

Shane Warne is making a return to the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The former Australian captain who had led the team to victory in the inaugural season of the league is to set to take up the role of a mentor this time.

The RRs are returning to IPL after a period of two years during which they were banned from the game on allegations of betting and spot-fixing. In an attempt to recreate the old magic, the management has roped in the legendary spinner who had captained the team from 2008-11. During his stint with the RRs he had played 52 games and picked 56 wickets in total. Joining him will be another Royals old hand, Zubin Bharucha, a former Mumbai batsman, as Head of Cricket.

A statement released by the RRs said, “In his role as mentor, Warne will have a multitude of tasks to fulfil, both on and off the field. His main role will be to work closely with the senior leaders in the team, particularly the captain, to ensure all areas of strategy and tactics are covered.”

Having bagged top notch players like Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat, the most expensive Indian player in this year’s auction, the team is expected to make a noteworthy comeback in this season.



Google plans to bring ‘Smart Reply’ feature to all messaging apps

Representational Image
Image Credit: Techcrunch

Smart Reply is an artificial intelligence (A.I.) powered technology that automatically creates responses to a user’s inbound messages. It made its debut in Google’s email client inbox around two years ago, eventually reaching Gmail, Android messages on Project Fi, and finally, Allo. In the latest development, Google’s internal incubator Area 120 is attempting to bring this feature to all chat applications.

This current project is titled “Reply” and its availability will initially be restricted to Android users. It will offer suggested responses to questions like “Are you at the restaurant?,” or “When can you be home?” To come up with these suggestions, ‘Reply’ will take into consideration the user’s current location and the time it will perhaps take in going from one place to another.

Notably, Reply won’t be exclusively for Google’s own messaging apps. Going by the statement made by Area 120, the plan is to offer support for Reply within numerous mainstream chat apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Hangouts, Allow, Twitter DMs, and Skype, among others.

“One of the many projects that we’re working on within Area 120 is Reply, which suggests smart replies right in notifications from various chat apps,” a Google spokesperson said. “Like all other projects within Area 120, it’s a very early experiment so there aren’t many details to share right now.”

Sources: androidpolice, digitaltrends

World Radio Day celebrated on February 13

13 February is observed annually as World Radio Day by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), since their international broadcasting services were established on this day. This is to bring to the forefront the significance of the medium in the personal lives of people. This year UNESCO aims to celebrate the role of radio in sports.

UNESCO has suggested various strategies to promote sports. It wants to invite local sporting teams from clubs and schools to play. Introduce more women broadcasters for sports and cover more women based sporting events. Facilitate talk shows based on sports and script a radio drama or documentary that caters to sports. Organize on air and on ground activities along with advertisers for the goodwill of sports and compose music that sings the glory of sports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been an avid promoter of Radio through his programme, “Mann Ki Baath”. He wished all those who are associated with it. This includes those who work in the industry and all the listeners. He looks forward to it being used to educate, discover and entertain people.

Radio might be referred to as a humble cousin in the media industry, but in the recent part this has seen a surge in listeners, creativity and revenue. It is cost effective and provides a voice to people. Such a concept is seen through community radio, a platform wherein people from communities come together to discuss about cultural practices and issues that are relevant to their community.

All India Radio is a huge radio broadcasting enterprise in the world. It has radio stations, covering 92% of India and 99% of total population. Programmes are aired in 23 languages and 146 dialects.

Radio is a humble medium with a huge potential. This needs to be both understood and tapped.

Pakistan bans Jamaa-ud-Dawaa and 26 other terror organisations ahead of FATF meeting

Ahead of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris from February 18, Government of Pakistan has passed an ordinance to ban terror-funding organisations like Lashkar-e-taiba, Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawaa, Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, amongst 27 others, sanctioned by the United Nations. The order was signed by their President Mamnoon Hussain on February 9, as reported by the Hindustan Times.

FATF is a global organisation that tracks down funding of terrorist activities, and it is learnt that one of the agenda of their plenary meeting was to gre-list Pakistan, The Indian Express reported.

Sources from the ministry in Pakistan have mentioned that the ministries of Interior, Finance and Foreign Affairs, as well as NACTA’s Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) wing, are working together on the matter, The Quint reports.

This change in Anti-Terrorist Act, 1997 means that the government would freeze the accounts of all 27 terror outfits and formulate a task force to take action. Security Exchange Board of Pakistan has already disallowed transfer of donations in the accounts of such organisations and people associated with them.

Sources: The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Quint